Community Composting

Texas Farmers’ Market operates a FREE Community Composting program at our Lakeline market, in partnership with Break it Down Austin. Every Saturday, shoppers can drop their compost off at our booth at the center of market from 9am-1pm. Read on for more information about what you can compost, drop off tips, and what happens to your compost after you drop it at the market!

Due to logistical issues, we are currently unable to accept compost at our Mueller market. We are hoping to bring the program back in the future – read more about our April 2022 Compost Fundraiser.

What can you compost?

Check out our compost guide that lists what we can accept! We work with Break it Down Austin, a commercial composting facility that enables us to also accept things like meat, bones, and dairy.

Many food containers, utensils, and bags can be composted – if they have a label that says “100% compostable”, we can accept it!

 

 

 

 

 

Compost Drop-Off Tips

  • Bring your compost in a reusable container, and our team will dump it in our bins and return your container to you. You can find lots of great reusable compost bin options online.
  • You can also use compostable bags – find them at most grocery stores or online.
  • Freeze your scraps if possible! This helps cut down on odor (our compost bins are located in our info booth, and it can get a bit stinky, especially in the summer months!)
  • Make sure to remove things like produce stickers as they are not compostable.

Where does the compost go?

We work with a local organization called Break it Down that picks up our compost from the market each week. Here’s what they do with it!

“First, we haul your organic compost material back to our warehouse for processing, where our dedicated staff goes through the material by hand to remove contamination (trash and recycling). Then, some of the material that is safe for animal consumption – fruits and vegetable scraps – is hauled to a local pig farm, and the rest (meat, bones, and compostable service ware items) we process at our property or we haul to our partner facility for composting. The material is collected into long piles called windrows, where it receives the proper amount of moisture and oxygen to break down aerobically.  The core temperature reaches 160 degrees in those piles, which is why we can break down meat and bones as well as compostable service ware. In 3-6 months, the material becomes fertile soil amendments, which is primarily used in local farming to reduce dependence on problematic synthetic fertilizers, creating a closed ecological loop within our community here in Central Texas.”

Why is this so important?

Approximately one third of the food in the US gets wasted. When food waste goes into landfills, it emits gases that are harmful to the environment – Globally, wasted food accounts for about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (source).

Rather than putting food waste into landfills, composting creates an environment in which natural organisms flourish and the matter can decompose quickly into a rich, soil-like matter. This nutrient-dense fertilizer is like gold for farmers, and cuts down the need to use synthetic fertilizers.

More ways to cut down on food waste

Aside from composting, there are a lot of great ways to cook with parts of vegetables and produce that you may normally toss in the trash! Get inspired by our collection of zero waste recipes.

If you have any questions about our compost program, please reach out to [email protected]